C2 Consulting and The British Medical Association: Professional development for doctors across the country

C2 Consulting and The British Medical Association: Professional development for doctors across the country

Through a programme of one-to-one consulting, workshops and webinars, the University of London-affiliated C2 Consultancy has provided BMA members with a range of support from career management to strategic leadership development.

This case study originally appeared on page 73 the State of the Relationship 2014. The report outlines the state of university-business collaboration in the UK, featuring expert views and over forty case studies. Read the full report.

C2 Consultancy is a not-for-profit career and professional development consultancy service that sits as part of The Careers Group at the University of London. The organisation draws on the knowledge of more than 40 careers staff based in the university’s colleges. C2 began working with the British Medical Association (BMA) by providing discounted one-to-one career coaching service for their members ranging from students to retirees. By identifying themes in coaching sessions and through facilitating focus groups with junior doctors, C2 was able to advise the BMA on developing new services to help their members address career important career issues. Following the focus groups, design briefs were drafted for BMJ Learning, a continuing education service for healthcare professionals, to develop a number of Career Essentials e-courses on topics such as E-portfolios and Managing Working Relationships. These courses proved extremely popular with their target audience.

In response to a lack of preparedness for strategic management issues exhibited by doctors moving to consultant-level positions, C2 developed a one-day Management Essentials workshop to raise awareness of up-to-date management thinking, tools and techniques. It has proved very popular with doctors already in consultant and GP partner roles as well as those aspiring to such roles. Through continuing to identify the development needs of doctors, further workshops were developed on presenting, influencing and negotiating.

The face-to-face workshops were a success, but many members found it difficult to take a whole day off for training. As a result, the consultancy worked with the BMA to develop and pilot a programme of hourlong evening webinars on topics such as Strategic Thinking, Developing Leadership, Mastering Workplace Communication and Networking for Professional Development. These webinars have proved increasingly popular, especially with junior doctors. C2 therefore worked with the BMA to identify more topics relevant to this group, such as Time Management, Switching Specialties, Assertiveness, and Wellbeing at Work.

When the Member Benefits Marketing Manager sat in on a networking webinar, she recognised that the subject would be useful for her own team, which comprised mostly young graduates. Following discussions, C2 agreed to run a complementary workshop for them on essential elements of career success. The possibility of delivering a programme of professional development courses for BMA staff is now being explored.

Throughout the collaboration, C2 Consultancy has sought to build a relationship with the BMA in which they are not just a supplier but a trusted adviser. On a number of occasions the BMA has consulted the organisation on new ideas for projects or new member services. C2 have always striven to provide creative ideas and honest opinions, even if this means not undertaking particular activities together.

This relationship has also been beneficial to The Careers Group’s core work within the colleges of the university. The insight gained into the challenges faced by doctors throughout their careers informs the work that our career consultants do with undergraduate students in the university’s medical schools.

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